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  • Author: Gal Luft
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: According to the September 17, 2002, issue of Ha'aretz, a delegation of American water experts toured the Wazzani River in southern Lebanon on September 16 to review Lebanese government projects aimed at directing water to nearby villages. Ever since the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) unilaterally withdrew from southern Lebanon in May 2000, relations between Israel and Lebanon have been tense, a result of the Lebanese government's tolerance of Hizballah attacks on Israeli targets along the border.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 09-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Prior to September 2000, the track record of Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) terrorist attacks featured more failed and small-scale operations than successful or substantial ones; at the time, Hamas overshadowed PIJ in terms of terrorist activity. Yet, PIJ's profile has changed since then. In August 2001, Israel listed three PIJ members among its seven most-wanted terrorists, compared to one member each from Hamas, Force 17, the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades, and the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP). In October 2001, PIJ secretary general Ramadan Abdullah Shallah asserted, "With the grace of God and the blessing of the blood martyrs, the Islamic Jihad movement is in the best condition it has ever been in," highlighting "its jihadist effectiveness and qualitative operations." PIJ solidified its reputation in the annals of the current Palestinian intifada with the April 2002 standoff in Jenin. Thaabat Mardawi, a senior PIJ commander in Jenin arrested in the course of Israel's Operation Defensive Shield, proudly described the PIJ-led battle against the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) to a CNN interviewer: "It was like hunting . . . like being given a prize. I couldn't believe it when I saw the soldiers. The Israelis knew that any soldier who went into the camp like that was going to get killed. I've been waiting for a moment like that for years." PIJ's moment has indeed come; by all accounts, the group will remain a dominant and destructive factor for the foreseeable future.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 08-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This week, amid a deep economic recession, the national unity government of Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon narrowly adopted a 2003 austerity budget. Given the likelihood of new elections within a year, the time and attention of Israeli policymakers will likely be devoted to political maneuvering on serious domestic problems, in addition to the main issue: ongoing Palestinian-Israeli violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Ziad Abu Amr
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 27, 2002, Ziad Abu Amr addressed a special Washington Institute seminar on reforming the Palestinian Authority (PA). Mr. Abu Amr is chairman of the Political Committee of the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC). The following are excerpts from his presentation, as transcribed by the Institute. Citing a recent speech given by Yasir Arafat to the PLC on the importance of reform, Abu Amr said, "For the first time, he acknowledged that there were mistakes, but he takes responsibility, something I personally did not like because this meant from the very start, suppressing the process of accountability and actual reform. The idea of the president was, 'Okay, there were mistakes. We close the files. We start afresh.' That was not acceptable."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Hassan Abu-Libdeh
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 27, 2002, Hassan Abu Libdeh addressed a special Washington Institute seminar on reforming the Palestinian Authority (PA). Dr. Abu Libdeh is director of the Palestinian Central Bureau of Statistics and a professor at Bir Zeit University. The following are excerpts from his presentation, as transcribed by the Institute. "The PA was born out of the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), which was known for a long time as an aging, ineffective, corrupt, and poorly managed institution . . ."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Khalil Shikaki
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On June 27, 2002, Khalil Shikaki addressed a special Washington Institute seminar on reforming the Palestinian Authority (PA). Dr. Shikaki is an associate professor of political science at Bir Zeit University and director of the Palestinian Center for Policy and Survey Research in Ramallah. The following are excerpts from his presentation, as transcribed by the Institute. "Initially, Palestinian interest [in reform] was basically an effort to address the issue of waste. . . . One year into the establishment of the Palestinian Authority [PA], the Palestinian comptroller issued a report which shocked everybody because the report basically said we have been wasting something like $250 million. . . . Waste, corruption, violation of human rights in Palestinian jails, security forces essentially ignoring any law and order, were all factors that became of serious interest in the early two or three years of the Palestinian Authority. . . . The reason for all of this is the fact that the Palestinians so far have failed to build strong institutions, structurally speaking. . . ."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matan Vilnai
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On July 17, 2002, Minister Matan Vilnai addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. Mr. Vilnai is Israel's minister of science, culture, and sport; a member of Israel's inner security cabinet; a Labor member of Knesset; chairman of the ministerial committee for Israeli Arab affairs; and a reserve major-general (he served as head of Israel's Southern Command from 1989 to 1994 when Israeli forces redeployed out of Gaza). The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. A few weeks ago, the Israeli government decided to establish a security fence between Israel and the West Bank in order to stem the tide of Palestinian suicide attacks. This fence has the support of the majority of Israelis for whom daily life has become a harrowing experience and for whom a fence brings some hope of security. This fence should not be seen as a substitute for diplomacy, but rather as a temporary security measure. The fence will not become the permanent border between Israel and the Palestinians. A permanent border can only attain legitimacy if it receives the support of both parties through negotiations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As President George W. Bush was offering his vision for a post-Yasir Arafat Palestinian state two weeks ago, the Palestinian leader's cabinet was itself unveiling a "100-day plan" for reforming the Palestinian Authority (PA). This plan was clearly designed to both respond to popular demands to fix the PA's broken or stillborn institutions as well as steer the reform process down a nonthreatening, Arafat-controlled course. While it offers promising elements of change, the plan is only likely to strengthen the unacceptable status quo.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Michael Oren
  • Publication Date: 07-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On May 29, 2002, Dr. Michael Oren, senior fellow at the Jerusalem-based Shalem Center and head of its Middle East history project, addressed The Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum. He is the author of the new book, Six Days of War: June 1967 and the Making of the Modern Middle East. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: President George W. Bush today tore up a generation of conventional wisdom by offering a bold, new approach that conditioned U.S. support for eventual Palestinian statehood on a new political leadership; a "working democracy"; and far-reaching security, judicial, constitutional, and economic reform. At the same time, he seemed to ask nothing of Israel to which even the current Israeli government has not, in theory at least, already agreed. Having articulated this strategy, the White House will now surely face sustained pressure from Arab and European partners — and perhaps even from some within the administration — to balance the equation by early certification of Palestinian reform and/or accelerated demands on Israel for a redeployment of troops and a freeze on settlements.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Europe, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Shaul Mofaz
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The IDF began planning for the contingency of carrying out extensive military operations throughout the West Bank and Gaza Strip long before the deployment of Operation Defensive Shield in late March 2002. As early as 1998, during a period when hopes abounded for peace with both the Syrians and the Palestinians, the IDF's general staff faced the challenge of preparing for the failure of negotiations and the possibility of violence. Israeli intelligence reports anticipated the hostilities that eventually materialized in September 2000, following the unsuccessful talks at Camp David. A number of short-term and structural reforms within the IDF began in early 2000, aimed at improving readiness and maximizing efficiency. The optimistic tone of the times, however, had led to budget cuts for the military; eventually, the government was forced to allocate an additional $150 million in order to prepare soldiers for the anticipated violence.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The fracas over Secretary of State Colin Powell's interview with the London Arabic daily al-Hayat yesterday — the contents of which White House spokesman Ari Fleisher has pointedly refused to endorse — reflects a growing pattern of White House-State Department division on key Middle East issues, a damaging dynamic that will only be exorcised through clarity and resolution from the Oval Office.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, London, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With this week's dispatch to the Middle East of Director of Central Intelligence George Tenet and Assistant Secretary of State for Near Eastern Affairs William Burns, the Bush administration has put its toe into the water of Palestinian reform. Success in this vital effort will require avoiding the trap of sham reform (such as a disproportionate focus on elections that might only confirm the worst excesses of Palestinian misrule) or effectively endorsing any particular Palestinian leader or would-be leader (thereby repeating the mistakes of the last decade). Instead, Washington should focus on the larger objectives at hand. At the core, there are two: 1) fostering the development of Palestinian national institutions based on democracy, transparency, accountability, fiscal propriety, and the rule of law; and 2) advancing the prospect for lasting peace and security between Israel and the Palestinian Authority ([PA] and its eventual successor, the State of Palestine). These two objectives may be complementary, though not necessarily so; in fact, in certain circumstances, they may be contradictory. Indeed, in approaching the Palestinian reform process, U.S. officials should not only highlight the importance of structural change but also keep in mind the pitfalls of promoting (or acquiescing in) certain kinds of "reform" that may inhibit, handicap, or prevent real peacemaking from taking hold. A review of two key documents — #151; the Basic Law governing the PA until the conclusion of the current "transitional period" and the PLO-endorsed draft constitution for the future State of Palestine — #151; reveals several areas where U.S. officials need to take particular notice as they discuss various reform ideas with Palestinian leaders.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The State Department recently submitted its semiannual Palestine Liberation Organization Commitments Compliance Act (PLOCCA) report to Congress, assessing PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA) compliance with commitments made under the Israeli-Palestinian peace accords during the period June 15, 2001-December 15, 2001. The report acknowledges some PA shortcomings over the reporting period, but glosses over many gross violations of PA-PLO peace commitments throughout this period. In drawing its conclusions, the report did not take into account evidence of PA support for and involvement in terrorism laid out in approximately 500,000 documents Israel seized from PA offices in the course of Operation Defensive Shield. But there is good reason to expect that the U.S. government will find much of value in the seized Israeli documents. Ambassador Francis X. Taylor, the State Department's coordinator for counterterrorism, recently commented, "We don't have any question about the authenticity of the documents provided by the Israeli Government." Therefore, it is instructive to see where the documents shed light on issues discussed in the PLOCCA report. Once the material seized by Israel has been reviewed by the U.S. intelligence community — #151; a process that, presumably, will be completed shortly — #151; it would be appropriate to issue an updated version of the PLOCCA report, incorporating the additional information about PLO-PA activities during the June 15-December 15 period.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Speaking to the Palestinian Legislative Council (PLC) in Ramallah yesterday, Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat offered a new political agenda to guide the Palestinian Authority (PA) in the aftermath of Israel's Operation Defensive Shield and U.S.-led diplomatic efforts to win his release from Israeli encirclement. The main headings of that agenda are armed struggle, guided reform, and preparation for elections. No mention was made of the prospects for renewed negotiations or the proposed regional peace conference.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Gal Luft
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Last week, during the visit of Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon, President George W. Bush announced the need to "immediately begin to help rebuild a security force in Palestine that will fight terror, that will bring some stability to the region." He also stated that Central Intelligence Agency director George Tenet will be returning to the region "to help design the construction of a security force, a unified security force, that will be transparent, held accountable." Immediately after Bush's announcement, Sharon declared that he viewed security reform — #151; that is, purging the Palestinian Security Services (PSS) of corruption and terrorism — #151; as a precondition for a meaningful peace process, while, for his part, Bush did not create linkage between the two. Whatever differences exist in terms of linkage between reform and diplomacy, the administration's initiative is positive and necessary. The task at hand, however, is monumental, and solutions will take time, effort, and diplomatic skill. Quick fixes imposed from outside are unlikely to succeed unless they are accompanied by a fundamental change in the Palestinian leadership's approach to terrorism, counterterrorism, and peacemaking, and also by effective treatment of the deeply rooted social and institutional ailments within the Palestinian Authority (PA).
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Natan Sachs
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Likud Central Committee meets on Sunday to discuss a resolution opposing Palestinian statehood. Such a resolution could be seen as an important declarative step, despite its lack of legal significance (Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has publicly endorsed the idea of Palestinian statehood — albeit in vague terms). Although a vote on the topic may not occur, the fact that such a resolution is even being tabled casts a spotlight both on the party that is consistently leading Israeli polls and on the efforts of former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu to unseat his rival, Sharon. The next national elections are currently scheduled for November 2003, but, as is often the case in Israeli politics, they could very well be held sooner. Interestingly, the current frontrunner is neither Sharon nor a member of Labor, the main opposing party, but rather a member of the prime minister's own party, the Likud. Two significant developments in the political landscape have contributed to this trend: first, in March 2001 the Knesset repealed the system of direct prime-ministerial elections and reinstated most of the elements of the old system, hoping to aid the larger parties (Likud and Labor) at the expense of smaller ones; second, since the outbreak of the current wave of Palestinian violence in September 2000, the voting preferences of the Israeli electorate have shifted dramatically to the right.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Natan Sachs, Nitsan Alon
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Tuesday, former president Bill Clinton joined others in advocating a U.S.-led international force in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. Several frameworks for such an intervention have been proposed, ranging from monitoring missions to full-fledged international trusteeship over the territories. Underlying these ideas is a lack of confidence in both sides, the Israelis and the Palestinians, along with a perception that the latter are unable or unwilling to stop terror. Although the appeal of external intervention may be strong, an analysis of the relevant security repercussions suggests that such intervention would not only be hazardous, but would also likely do more harm than good in the fight against terrorism.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Ehud Waldoks
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The State Department's annual Patterns of Global Terrorism report, which is scheduled for release in late May, is set to be a much longer and detailed document than before. Among the many issues the report will have to address is the resurrection of secular Palestinian terrorist groups, some of which have not been listed on U.S. government terrorist lists in the past. The steady escalation of terrorist tactics and operations over the past year and a half is due as much to these groups as it is to Palestinian Islamist groups such as Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad that have dominated the Palestinian terrorism scene over the last decade. Palestinian nationalist terrorism currently has two components: 1) dormant secular groups such as the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) — referred to collectively as "the fronts" — that have been revitalized after several years of inactivity; and 2) newly active nationalist, non-Islamist militias connected to the Palestinian Authority (PA), such as the Fatah Tanzim.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: A spate of visitors have been coming to the United States to talk with senior Bush administration officials about the Middle East. Perhaps the most prominent visitor has been Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Abdullah, the de facto Saudi ruler who last visited the United States three years ago. As a special gesture, President George W. Bush hosted Crown Prince Abdullah at his Crawford, Texas, ranch last week. Other recent visitors to see President Bush include Egypt's president Hosni Mubarak, Morocco's King Mohammed, and Lebanon's prime minister Rafik Hariri. Next week, President Bush will host Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon and, shortly thereafter, Jordan's King Abdullah. Today, the State Department will host senior diplomats who deal with the Middle East, hailing from the European Union, Russia, and the UN. These countries and organizations have been consulting with each other and with the United States more than in previous times. As President Bush meets with these leaders and considers his options, there is already a noticeable change in the Bush administration's Middle East public focus away from a virtually exclusive September 11 counterterrorism agenda. From President Bush's speech to Congress last September and the State of the Union speech in January, the animating principle of this administration has been the war on terrorism. The violence in the Israeli-Palestinian arena, though, coupled with the Saudi peace initiative spearheaded by Crown Prince Abdullah at the Arab summit in Beirut six weeks ago, has succeeded in shifting President Bush's agenda.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Middle East, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: Matthew Levitt, Seth Wikas
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Operation Defensive Shield — the Israel Defense Forces' (IDF's) counterterrorism operation in the West Bank — aims to confiscate illegal weaponry and bombing materiel; destroy factories producing bombs and missiles; constrict the environment in which terrorists plan, prepare, and execute terror attacks; and, most important, apprehend the operatives behind the current terrorist offensive. The operation has come under increasing international fire for delivering only short-term benefits at what seems to be a disproportionately high human cost on both the Israeli and Palestinian sides. An analysis of the operation's success to date, however, clarifies not only the absolute necessity for such an operation, but also the scope of the operation's success in proactively disrupting terrorists' ability to target Israeli civilians. Moreover, a close look at the operation yields a plethora of disturbing evidence exposing the depth of the Palestinian Authority's (PA's) involvement in terrorism, including its links to terrorist groups such as Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Gal Luft
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Since March 28, 2002, the first day of Operation Defensive Shield — Israel's attempt to dismantle the Palestinian terrorist infrastructure — Lebanese Hizballah fighters have attacked northern Israeli settlements and military outposts on an almost daily basis. These unprovoked attacks have included the use of antitank missiles, mortars, katyusha rockets, and antiaircraft weapons directed at Israeli military and civilian aircraft. Among the towns attacked have been Shlomi, Kiryat Shmona, Moshav Beit Hillel, and the Allawite village Ghajar, where Hizballah fire wounded five residents, including three children. In an April 7 Hizballah attack on a military outpost in the western sector (a significant distance from the Shebaa Farms area), seven Israel Defense Forces (IDF) soldiers — five of them women — were wounded. Despite these provocations, Israel has indicated that it does not wish to open a second front against Hizballah, the Lebanese army, or Syria. Yet, Prime Minister Ariel Sharon recently stated, "We are demonstrating restraint and are not interested in an escalation in the violence, but we cannot hold back for much longer," indicating that Israel's patience is about to run out and that harsh military response is imminent.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Emphraim Sneh
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: One of the best ways to reconcile Israel and the Arab world and, simultaneously, meet the interests of the United States is to maintain a demarcation in the Middle East between rogue states — e.g., those in the "axis of evil" — and moderate states. These moderates states, which are also allies of the United States, include Israel, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey, and some Persian Gulf and North African countries. All of these countries must work together to ensure stability in the Middle East and contribute to the containment of rogue states. A coalition of moderate states is feasible — such cooperation became prominent after the Oslo Accords, and it reached a high point at the 1996 Sharmel-Sheikh summit of peacemakers, where Israel, Turkey, and the moderate Arab states joined to condemn terrorism. Although this alliance is currently fractured, the circumstances required for its resumption can occur again. However, it is unlikely that such a coalition can be re-formed as long as the Israeli-Palestinian conflict remains unresolved. Whenever the Palestinian issue is a bleeding wound, the Middle East divides in the old way, with Israel on one side and the Arab and Muslim states on the other. The Palestinian issue is the only issue on which all the Arab states, moderate and rogue, tend to unite. When the peace process was on a positive track, however, the moderate states succeeded in isolating rogue states like Iraq.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Nitsan Alon
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: What has Israel accomplished in its ongoing and large-scale operations in the West Bank? How well have the operations gone from the perspective of the Israel Defense Forces (IDF)? The balance sheet is more positive than some accounts have suggested.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 04-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In his Rose Garden speech yesterday, President George W. Bush jumped head-first into the waters of Middle East diplomacy by committing the prestige of his administration to the achievement of an Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire and, ultimately, to "ending the conflict and beginning an era of peace." Analytically, the most important innovation in the president's speech was his clear differentiation between the Palestinian people and the flawed, failed leadership of Yasir Arafat; absent was any hint of the recent days' mantra that Arafat remains indispensable to peacemaking. At the same time, however, the administration stopped short of breaking new ground operationally, relying instead on the prestige of the presidency, the persuasive powers of the secretary of state, and the implied threat to turn to other, as-yet-unnamed "responsible Palestinian leaders" to take the reins of power in the event this last-chance diplomacy fails to stem the terrorism and violence of recent days. Along the way, the president's decision to mesh political objectives with the goal of a ceasefire risked both an erosion of U.S. credibility in Mideast diplomacy and even more terrorism by giving Palestinians reason to believe that violence does succeed in chipping away at U.S. conditions for high-level political engagement.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Makovsky, Robert Satloff, Shibley Telhami
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Saudi initiative for Israeli-Palestinian peace — soon to be presented at the upcoming Arab Summit in Beirut — is in part a tool to address tensions in Saudi relations with the United States after the September 11 attacks. A more important motivation for the initiative, however, is that the Saudi ruling family is concerned about the Saudi public's reaction to the escalation of violence in Israel and the Occupied Territories. In a recent poll, 63 percent of the Saudi public named the Palestinian situation as the single most important issue for them, and an additional 20 percent placed it among the top three most important issues. These statistics should not be taken too literally, but they are an indication of the growing influence that the Palestinian issue has on Saudi and other Arab perceptions of how the Arab world is treated by the West.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Responding to the al-Aqsa Martyrs Brigades' latest suicide bombing — which threatened to undermine the third straight peace mission of Middle East envoy Gen. Anthony Zinni — the State Department broke with tradition and announced the group's pending designation as a Foreign Terrorist Organization (FTO), even before Congress completed the process leading to its official listing in the Federal Register. More telling than this break in procedure, however, is al-Aqsa's intimate relationship with Yasir Arafat's own Fatah organization, the dominant faction within the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO), the Palestinian Authority (PA), and the various Palestinian security forces. Long hesitant to probe too closely into terrorism conducted by Fatah elements for fear of delegitimizing the PA as a peace partner, the State Department's addition of al-Aqsa to the FTO list underlines both the sharp rise in al-Aqsa terrorist tactics and Washington's post-September 11 zero tolerance for terrorism.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arab Countries
  • Author: Arnon Soffer
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Beyond the current violence and terrorism lies a demographic reality in the Arab-Israeli dispute which might in the future transform the politics, economics, and geography of the region. The demographics may affect U.S. foreign policy vis-à-vis the Palestinian-Israeli conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Nitsan Alon
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Over the past month, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) conducted a large-scale operation in several cities and refugee camps in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, beginning on the night of February 27 and ending nearly three weeks later with the withdrawal of Israeli troops from Bethlehem and Bet-Jalla on March 18. This operation was unique in several ways: the scale of activity was the largest of the current conflict; it included simultaneous action in several areas in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, using ground, air, and naval forces; and it included massive penetration into areas under full Palestinian control (Area A) and, most notably, into refugee camps, long considered almost out-of-bounds for security forces (even those of the Palestinian Authority [PA]). A careful look at the operation and its outcome, however, shows that the rationale behind it does not represent a shift in Israeli military strategy, but merely a more robust implementation of it.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Arab Countries
  • Author: Avi J. Jorisch
  • Publication Date: 03-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 28, Hizballah fired 57mm-antiaircraft missiles at Israeli planes flying over the Shebaa Farms area. According to Hizballah information officer Hassan Azzedin, "the current line of Israeli withdrawal ('blue line') is not consistent with the international boundary and not recognized by the Lebanese government. That's why we're pursuing the path of resistance." Indeed, Hizballah claims that Israel continues to occupy sovereign Lebanese territory, and the organization makes this claim the basis for what it considers legitimate resistance. What, then, is Hizballah's vision of where the Lebanon-Israel border should lie?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries, Lebanon
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Lebanon may well have come to the West Bank and Gaza. Over the past year and a half, Hamas has adopted traditional Hizballah guerilla tactics such as roadside bombings, short-range rocket and mortar launchings, using squads of terrorists from a variety of groups, and videotaping attacks and potential suicide bombers. In the proud words of Hizballah leader Hassan Nasrallah, "[Palestinians] are now operating against the Israeli occupation with Hizballah methods." More ominous, there are increasing signs that Hamas may follow Hizballah's example and broaden its operational objectives to include targeting Americans for attacks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, War
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia, Gaza, Lebanon
  • Author: David Makovksy
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Recriminations between Israelis and Palestinians on whether Israel sufficiently eased restrictions yesterday on the movement of Palestinian Authority Chairman Yasir Arafat within Ramallah (in return for the arrest of three Palestinians involved in the killing of an Israeli cabinet minister) have overshadowed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's declaration on Thursday to establish buffer zones in the West Bank.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Gal Luft
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the past month there have been no less than six incidents in which Hizballah's antiaircraft batteries opened fire against Israeli civilian and military aircraft flying in Israel's northern airspace. This in addition to its repeated and unprovoked attacks on Israeli outposts in the Mount Dov region, next to the Shaba Farms — the 750 acres Lebanon claims as its territory without UN support. In the latest attack on January 24, Hizballah fighters fired rockets, mortars, and forty antitank missiles at an Israel Defense Forces (IDF) outpost.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: Binyamin Ben-Eliezer
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: "In the new world reality that emerged after September 11, it is easier for everyone to understand that there are no good terrorists and bad terrorists; it is not true that one man's terrorist — as some try to tell us — is another man's 'freedom fighter.' One man's terrorist is everyone's terrorist. . . . In this new world, it is very important that we show no tolerance for those who try to play a double game between us and the terrorists, for those who try to sit on the fence, one leg here, one leg there. In our region, some players still think, still feel, that they can continue the old game, playing both ends. The message must be clear: the old game is over. Make your choice, make it clear, and make it work. . . .
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Yezid Sayigh
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The parameters and structure of Palestinian society and polity have not yet been clearly defined or recognized. For Palestine, as for all societies that have been through liberation struggles, the extent of violence during the struggle will have a long-term impact on the future course of Palestinian politics, political values, identity issues, and institutional structures. The means through which the Palestinians obtain their independence will also have a major impact on the future of Palestinian-Israeli relations.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, London, Palestine
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On February 3, the New York Times published an op-ed by Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat titled "The Palestinian Vision of Peace." The timing of this op-ed is not coincidental. It appeared after several weeks of worsening U.S.-Palestinian ties, during which President George W. Bush registered his deep "disappointment" with the Palestinian leadership and U.S. officials contemplated cutting diplomatic ties with the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). Coming just days before visits to Washington by Israel's prime minister and defense minister, and just days after those Israeli leaders met with Palestinian interlocutors frequently cited as political successors to Arafat, this op-ed clearly sought to achieve several objectives: (1) to begin the process of repairing bilateral U.S.-Palestinian relations by spotlighting Arafat's peacemaking credentials; (2) to remind American audiences that Arafat — and not his subordinates and would-be successors — determines Palestinian strategy; and (3) to reorder the U.S.-Israel agenda this week to focus more on diplomacy and less on pressuring Arafat on terrorism and the investigation of the Karine-Aweapons-smuggling effort.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, America, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Gal Luft
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Palestinian defense budget spending — relative to national income — is higher than that of any Arab country or Iran. This calculation is based on official data that exclude an important part of a state's defense budget — namely, procurement of weapons. The Oslo agreements prohibit the Palestinian Authority (PA) from procuring arms, yet they have been smuggled into the territories for years. It is not known how much the Palestinians actually invest in illegal weapons procurement, and there is no way to know how many wea
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Washington, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Gal Luft
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Growing U.S. military involvement in new locations such as Afghanistan, Uzbekistan, and the Philippines has raised concerns in the Pentagon about overstretching the military and has prompted a call to reassess the future of America's long-standing contribution to peacekeeping missions worldwide. One of the missions at risk of being curtailed is the Multinational Force and Observers (MFO) — an independent, international peacekeeping and verification organization established by Egypt and Israel to monitor the security arrangements of their 1979 peace treaty. The idea of downsizing the 900-man U.S. contingent in the Sinai Peninsula has been raised several times by Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld. "I do not believe that we still need our forces in the Sinai," he said in a recent public statement. But the timing of such a change — especially in light of the deterioration in Egyptian-Israeli relations since the beginning of the al-Aqsa intifada — is questionable. At a time when other voices are calling for the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Saudi Arabia, a withdrawal from Sinai — even if only a reduction — could symbolize to many a decreasing U.S. interest in the region. It could also deny the recently violent Egyptian-Israeli-Palestinian border area an important and necessary cooling-off mechanism.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, United States, America, Middle East, Israel, Uzbekistan, Philippines, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Sinai Peninsula
  • Author: Gal Luft
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Alongside the diplomatic efforts to reach a ceasefire with Israel, the Palestinian Authority (PA) has been involved — since the beginning of the second intifada — in the indigenous production of weapons and ammunition and in repeated attempts to smuggle arms on a massive scale into the territories under its control. To thwart these efforts and to degrade the PA's fighting capabilities, the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have destroyed dozens of warehouses and weapons-producing factories and have sealed all land, sea, and air passages leading into the PA.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Israeli naval commandos seized the Gaza-bound freighter Karine-A in the Red Sea last Thursday, exposing a cargo hold containing fifty tons of munitions. The seizure took place in international waters some 300 miles off of Israel's southern coast, between Sudan and Saudi Arabia. The ship's captain, Omar Akkawi, later participated in an interview with Reuters and several television networks invited by Israeli authorities to the prison where Akkawi was being held; in the interview, he named Adel Awadallah of the Palestinian Authority (PA) as head of the operation. Akkawi also identified himself as both a long-time member of Yasir Arafat's Fatah and a naval advisor to the PA's Ministry of Transport; the PA subsequently confirmed the latter fact. In front of the reporters, Akkawi disclosed his instructions to first collect arms at a specified point off of Iran's coast and then sail through the Red Sea and Suez Canal to the Mediterranean. He also confirmed that one of the men who helped load the arms onto his ship was a member of the Iranian-backed Hizballah, and that one of his own crew members had been trained by the group.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Sudan, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: Seth Wikas
  • Publication Date: 01-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The arrival of U.S. envoy General Anthony Zinni in Jerusalem today comes during a relative lull in the terrorism and violence that has characterized the Israeli-Palestinian scene since the eruption of the al-Aqsa intifada in September 2000. This lull is at least partly due to the December 21 decision of Hamas to suspend attacks against Israel. But a review of the eight years since the signing of the Oslo Accord shows that this is actually the ninth ceasefire that Hamas has offered or declared during that period.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Oslo
  • Author: Mohammed Abu-Nimer
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: In addition to supporting an immediate cease-fire, moderates on both sides of the Middle East conflict should develop joint initiatives that acknowledge a shared sense of humanity. Cross-ethnic projects to provide aid to all victims of violence and interfaith efforts to acknowledge the loss of human lives on both sides would reduce complacency in the face of continued violence. Further, a popular, nonviolent campaign to promote compliance with human rights standards would strengthen civil and political participation and marginalize the radicals.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Human Rights
  • Political Geography: Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Arie Kacowicz
  • Publication Date: 06-2002
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Joan B. Kroc Institute for International Peace Studies, University of Notre Dame
  • Abstract: Recent public opinion polls in Israel indicate substantial support for several proposals for a long-term resolution of the conflict. Combining these proposals into a single scheme would thus produce a formula for future negotiations with broad political support. This formula should include an Israeli declaration of acceptance in principle of the Saudi initiative, Israel's unilateral disengagement from 85% of the West Bank and the entire Gaza Strip, the creation of an international trusteeship regime in the West Bank and Gaza during a three-year transition to a Palestinian state, the deployment of multinational peacekeeping forces, and bilateral negotiations on the core issues of the conflict.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Human Rights, War
  • Political Geography: Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 16, Palestinian television broadcast a pre-recorded speech in Arabic by Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasir Arafat calling for "a complete cessation of any operation or actions, especially suicide attacks." Since he said many of the right words, it is important to clarify what would constitute a "100 percent effort" against terror.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The decision by Israel's security cabinet last night to sever contact with Palestinian Authority (PA) Chairman Yasir Arafat, declaring him "irrelevant" in halting current Hamas suicide bombings and attacks, marks a new nadir in Israeli-Palestinian relations since the 1993 Oslo accords. Israel is frustrated by how little the PA has done to arrest Hamas members and other terrorists who are allegedly connected to the ongoing violence. But Israel's options are limited.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Gal Luft
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Israeli cabinet's December 4 decision to treat the Palestinian Authority (PA) as a "terror-supporting entity," and the Tanzim militia and PA chairman Yasir Arafat's elite unit Force 17 as terrorist organizations, has seemingly expanded the range of military options for the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) in its war against terrorism. Unlike the first fourteen months of the current intifada, the IDF has now received a green light from its government to destroy two of the PA's most important military branches, as well as the Hamas and Islamic Jihad movements which have already been singled out as enemies. However, this change in the government's policy does not necessarily ease the life of Israel's military brass. On the contrary, the current strategy continues to impose on the IDF limitations in the use of force and requires the highest degree of dexterity from the IDF's planners and fighters.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Ivry
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On December 4, 2001, David Ivry, Israeli ambassador to the United States, addressed the Washington Institute's Policy Forum. Ambassador Ivry has been Israel's national security advisor, head of the National Security Council, principal assistant minister of defense for strategic affairs, director-general of the Ministry of Defense, and deputy chief of staff of the Israel Defense Forces. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Matthew Levitt
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the wake of this weekend's heinous Hamas suicide attacks in Israel, President Bush demanded, "Now more than ever, Chairman Arafat and the Palestinian Authority must demonstrate through their actions and not merely their words their commitment to fight terror." Last month the administration designated Hamas and Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ) as Specially Designated Global Terrorists (SDGTs). Today, the administration led by example, following up on its strong words to Arafat with action of its own. The president characterized Hamas as a group of "global reach" and announced the freezing of financial assets associated with three organizations linked to Hamas as part of the administration's effort targeting terrorist fundraising. With today's order, the president expanded the active war on terrorism beyond Al Qaeda and the Taliban to include groups who target the Middle East peace process.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky, Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Secretary Powell's speech did not introduce any new substantive points into the debate. However, it outlined for the first time the Bush administration's view regarding the situation in the Middle East. It also offered some important symbolic points that could provide Yasir Arafat a means of ending the current impasse. He may indeed consider doing so. The points in the speech that will probably be well received by the Palestinians include the use of the term "occupation." Many Palestinians see occupation as the very essence of the conflict. Combining Powell's mention of occupation with his references to Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, Palestinians may infer that he is calling for a return to the June 1967 borders.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, America, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On Tuesday, November 20, Dr. Robert Satloff, The Washington Institute's executive director, participated in a Policy Forum panel discussion assessing Secretary of State Colin Powell's November 19 address on the Middle East peace process. Following is an edited version of his comments.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: Ephraim Sneh
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On November 8, 2001, Ephraim Sneh addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum. Mr. Sneh is minister of transportation in Israel's national unity government and a member of the Knesset from the Labor party. He has served previously as minister of health under Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin and as deputy minister of defense under Prime Minister Ehud Barak. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Dan Meridor
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Despite the current tense situation, there has been no change in the fundamentals of the Israel-U.S. relationship. Israel understands the unique character of the relationship and will do what it can to accommodate vital U.S. needs. If post-September 11, the United States needs Israel to maintain a lower profile, so be it. Since that date, the United States has been very helpful in pressing Arafat to desist from terrorist attacks, and Israel appreciates that effort.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Adam Garfinkle, Ehud Yaari, Khaled Abu Toameh
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On October 23, 2001, Ehud Ya'ari, Khaled Abu Toameh, and Adam Garfinkle addressed the Washington Institute's Special Policy Forum about their new study, After Arafat? The Future of Palestinian Politics. Ya'ari is the chief Middle East commentator for Israel's Channel 2, associate editor of the Jerusalem Report, and an associate of The Washington Institute. Abu Toameh is a senior writer for the Jerusalem Report and special correspondent for U.S. News and World Report. Garfinkle is editor of the National Interest and rapporteur of the Washington Institute's multi-year Project on Managing Leadership Change in the Middle East. The following is a rapporteur's summary of their remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The assassination of Israeli cabinet minister Rehavam Ze'evi today outside his hotel room in Jerusalem is unprecedented. With the Palestinian Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) taking responsibility, it marks the first time that an Israeli cabinet minister has been assassinated by a Palestinian since Israel was established. According to Israeli security officials, the assailants fled in the direction of Palestinian Authority (PA)controlled territory, that is, Ramallah. In front of the cameras, PFLP in Gaza immediately took responsibility, declaring that the assassination was in retaliation for Israel's killing on August 27 of PFLP leader Abu Ali Mustafa.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia, Gaza
  • Author: Martin Indyk
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On October 1, 2001, Ambassador Martin Indyk, former U.S. ambassador to Israel and assistant secretary of state for Near East Affairs, addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum to discuss the impact of the September 11 attacks on ending the year-long Palestinian intifada. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Ehud Yaari
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The current Palestinian-Israeli truce — certified by the meeting between Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasir Arafat at Rafah Airport, Wednesday — has a greater chance of taking hold than any of the five previous ceasefire agreements announced since the outbreak of the intifada exactly one year ago. The potential of this effort to achieve a relative calm stems not only from the changed international circumstances following the terrorist attacks on America on September 11, but also from a growing sense among Palestinians that the intifada has lost its way and is failing to produce any tangible gains.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At the direct and repeated behest of the Bush administration, Israeli foreign minister Shimon Peres and Palestinian Authority chairman Yasir Arafat met yesterday at the Gaza Airport — their first meeting since June. Given the extraordinary circumstances of the September 11 attacks and the U.S. desire to fashion an international coalition against terrorism, the meeting is bound to raise hopes that the latest ceasefire will take hold. As previous Israeli-Palestinian ceasefires have collapsed, however, the implications of this meeting cannot be predicted with any certainty. This Friday, September 28, marks the first anniversary of the violence that has engulfed Israelis and Palestinians and scuttled the peace process. Such an occasion presents an opportunity to assess the impact of this violence and to consider the future in light of the September 11 attacks in New York and Washington.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, New York, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 09-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On September 12, in the media haze of the September 11 terrorist outrages, the State Department delivered to Congress the semi-annual report assessing PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA) compliance with their "peace process" commitments. On the plus side, this document — the first covering a period on the watch of the Bush Administration — goes further than any previous report in citing PLO/PA acquiescence and even connivance in acts of violence. Regrettably, however, it follows the pattern of previous reports in failing to provide a full and unvarnished appraisal of PA/PLO compliance with its anti-terror, anti-violence and anti-incitement responsibilities.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Palestine
  • Author: Michael Eisenstadt
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Yesterday's killing of Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine (PFLP) chief Abu 'Ali Mustafa by Israel, and the State Department's condemnation of this act, have refocused attention on Israel's use of "targeted killings" as part of its counter-terror policy. Since the start of the "al-Aqsa intifada," Israeli forces have killed more than three dozen Palestinians allegedly involved in planning or carrying out attacks on Israeli civilians. Nearly all have been from Hamas, Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and Palestinian Authority (PA)-affiliated groups such as the Fatah Tanzim. Critics of these actions claim they are ineffective, if not counterproductive. What does the record show?
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: In the aftermath of the horrific Hamas suicide bombing of a Jerusalem pizzeria on August 9, President Bush once again called on Palestinian Authority (PA) leader Yasir Arafat to take the necessary steps to end the violence. Inside the PA, however, there is little discussion about a cessation of violence. Instead, the principal topic of discussion in the PA today concerns the prospect that Hamas, the Palestinian Islamic Jihad (PIJ), and the leading nationalist opposition groups may join a Palestinian "government of national unity," formalizing the already close cooperation between these groups.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Dennis Ross, Margaret Warner, Jim Hoagland
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On August 8, Dennis Ross, Counselor and Distinguished Fellow at The Washington Institute and former Special Middle East Coordinator, answered questions posed by Margaret Warner and Jim Hoagland at a special question and answer session. The following are excerpts from the discussion. The full text is posted on the Institute's homepage.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 08-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The horrific suicide terror bombing today, during lunchtime in the heart of downtown Jerusalem, cannot merely be dismissed as an attack by a deranged fanatic. In the immediate aftermath of the suicide bombing, Islamic Jihad leader Ramadan Abdullah Shalah immediately went on the popular Arab satellite television station Al-Jazeera defending the attack and calling for similar blasts to be launched against the United States. (Immediately after providing Shalah with twenty minutes to deliver a soliloquy, the Al-Jazeera anchor called the terrorist incident that killed at least fifteen civilians including six infants, a fedayeen or guerilla operation.)
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Ehud Barak
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum on July 19, 2001. The following are excerpts from his remarks. "I will . . . make some telegraphic remarks about why I believe we are facing now the kind of violence that we are facing, what could or should be done about it from my point of view, and what is the longer term prospect for what will happen in the Middle East. . . . "Why are we facing this violence? Since Chairman Arafat decided deliberately to turn to violence. . . . He decided [this] when he realized at Camp David exactly a year ago we had a moment of truth where real tough, painful decisions were needed on both sides, not just plain or smooth talk.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Reuven Paz, academic director of the International Policy Institute for Counter-Terrorism at the Interdisciplinary Center in Herziliya, Israel, visiting fellow at The Washington Institute in 2000-2001, and author of the forthcoming Institute policy focus, Tangled Web: International Networking of the Islamist Struggle, addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum on July 12, 2001. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Nabil Sha'ath
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Nabil Sha'ath, the Palestinian Authority's Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum on June 21, 2001. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. The current Palestinian-Israeli tension is creating an explosive situation throughout the region — a situation that seriously threatens regional stability and affects the security, economic, and geopolitical interests of the United States as well as those of every Middle East country. The international community has a real interest in moving Israelis and Palestinians away from the brink and back to the negotiating table. This is where the support of the new U.S. administration is needed. In reaching their objectives of freedom and independence, the Palestinian Authority (PA), Yasser Arafat, and the Palestinian people still see no alternative to a peace process and a negotiated settlement leading to an outcome that is seen as fair, comprehensive, and just, with a viable Palestinian state as the ultimate goal.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As car bombs inside Israel and the Israeli targeting of Islamic Jihad operatives postpones for another day the start of the seven-day "no incident period" arranged by Secretary of State Colin Powell last week, yesterday's retaliatory attack by Israeli F-16 aircraft against a Syrian radar station in the Bekaa Valley highlights another theme of the Powell visit — the role of third-party monitors in the Arab-Israeli arena. Indeed, Israel's reprisal for Hizballah's missile attacks in the Shebaa Farms area across the international border provides a timely reminder about the limitations of monitoring conducted by peacekeeping forces such as the United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon. Moreover, it underscores the key missing ingredients in virtually all Middle East monitoring arrangements: the willingness to engage in open, public, truthful, and non-politicized verification of compliance/non-compliance and the creation of effective enforcement mechanisms.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As Secretary of State Colin Powell arrives in Tel Aviv today to shore up the shaky Israeli-Palestinian ceasefire, across the river in Jordan, King Abdullah is quietly coping with his own separate but related crisis. On June 14, without any prior warning, Ibrahim Ghawsheh, the Hamas spokesman expelled from the kingdom in 1999 for his political activities, arrived at Queen Alia Airport on a Qatari Airways flight from Doha. Jordanian authorities refused him entry, and Ghawsheh, who is sixty-five-years-old, has since remained in custody at the airport. The Ghawsheh standoff-which comes as King Abdullah prepares to postpone impending elections and modify the electoral law-highlights the kingdom's ongoing difficulties with its Islamists.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With Secretary of State Colin Powell's trip to the Middle East this week, following on Israeli prime minister Ariel Sharon's visit to Washington, U.S. diplomacy in the Arab-Israeli arena will reach its most intensive level since the advent of the Bush administration. The rationale for this heightened diplomacy is, in the words of President Bush's spokesman, "to help secure efforts to preserve the ceasefire and to build upon it, to build to a greater peace in the Middle East, and try to get all the parties to continue to do their part to secure the Mitchell committee recommendations." Given that there is little ceasefire to "preserve," it is unclear whether — on a larger scale — the Bush administration has fully internalized the profound impact that the post-Camp David intifada has had on the prospects for "building a greater peace."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East
  • Author: Avraham Burg
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Avraham Burg, Speaker of the Israeli Knesset and a leading candidate in the upcoming September 4 primary for Labor Party chairman, addressed The Washington Institute's Policy Forum on June 19, 2001. The following is a rapporteur's summary of his remarks. Despite the violence and terror of the past months, 60 percent of Israelis are still ready to make painful compromises in order to achieve peace-if they see that they have a viable partner. The Israelis have already decided that in order to live in peace they will need to make a compromise with their history. The kind of restrained leadership Prime Minister Ariel Sharon has shown since the formation of this government indicates that the message of painful compromises for real peace is the policy of the State of Israel. Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasir Arafat has not yet come to the same point. He is not yet ready to make a compromise with his own Palestinian or Islamic history in order to live respectfully in peace alongside Israel. It will be virtually impossible to restart negotiations without understanding what happened in the negotiations between the Israelis and Palestinians. Only knowing what occurred will allow the parties to avoid the mistakes of the past — and there were real mistakes on both sides. Abba Eban once said that the Palestinians never miss an opportunity to miss an opportunity, and the Palestinians have lived up to this expectation. They did not understand the greatness of the moment that Camp David presented and therefore approached the talks with a negative, aggressive, and violent energy-which quickly replaced the dynamic of the past six to eight years. To understand what this means, consider how Arafat reacted to Sharon's visit to the Temple Mount last September. Arafat had two options: he could have greeted Sharon, showing his people and the world that the PA would guarantee freedom of access and of worship, and therefore could be counted on to provide all the benefits of peace; or he could exploit the visit in order to ignite the region. Arafat chose the second option.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Robert Satloff, David Brooks
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: At Camp David/Taba, the Palestinians left the Israeli bride at the altar, so to speak, by turning down the agreement. Regional actors have responded differently. Some Arab leaders, especially Egyptians, are in denial, arguing that former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak's proposals are still valid and that the peace process is still salvageable. Many Arabs blame the failure of Camp David/Taba on the "arrangements" — technical problems, miscommunication, or poor timing of proposals that caused the talks to fizzle. If only these problems were fixed, they argue, an agreement could be worked out.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia, Jordan
  • Author: Michael Phillips Moskowitz
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Friday, June 15 marks day one hundred for the Sharon administration and Israel's sixth national unity government. The occasion warrants a look back at the five previous Israeli unity governments.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government
  • Political Geography: Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Liat Radcliffe
  • Publication Date: 06-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The following report evaluates trends in Israeli-Palestinian violence during the past seven months using fatality statistics. This analysis covers the period from the outbreak of the "Al Aqsa Intifada" on September 28, 2000 through to April 30, 2001. The following statistics are based primarily on information provided by the Israeli human rights group B'tselem. This data has been cross-checked for accuracy with the Israeli government and U.S. and other Western media sources. For information about fatalities in earlier periods and about methodology, see Peacewatch #317: "Israeli-Palestinian Political Fatalities During The Barak Government: A Statistical Overvie" and Research Note #8: "Trends in Israeli-Palestinian Political Fatalities, 1987-1999."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Robert Satloff, Dennis Ross
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Bush administration confronts a certain context on the ground in Israel and the Palestinian territories: Increasing violence. The violence gets worse and worse, and seems to have a logic and momentum of its own. There has been a descent into what may only be described as "communal violence."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: As the State Department Assistant Secretary of State for Near East Affairs-designate William Burns seeks to coax Israelis and Palestinians into accepting a sequence of steps to halt the current deterioration of violence that has engulfed the area in recent months, the question is whether there is sufficient political will among the parties to arrive at a mutually satisfactory arrangement.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Government
  • Political Geography: United States, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Eyal Zisser
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While the violence in the West Bank and Gaza captures most of the attention, arguably more important developments in the last year have occurred in the Syria-Lebanon-Israel triangle.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Israel, Arabia, Gaza, North Africa, Lebanon, Syria
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: This morning, the text of the long-awaited Mitchell Commission Report, an account of the past seven months of Israeli-Palestinian violence written by a five-member committee headed by former Senate majority leader George Mitchell, was made publicly available. Conceived as a "committee of fact finding" at the October 17, 2000 Sharm al Shaykh conference, its stated goal was to answer "What happened," "why it happened," and how the "recurrence of violence [could] be prevented."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arabia
  • Author: Shimon Perez
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: "We are passing through a very demanding corridor of politics and exchanges, of an emotional crisis of blame and accusations where the voice of peace is minor and occasionally words may be as dangerous as bullets. We have to stop both the incitement and the fire. My real optimism is that I am convinced that sooner or later — and better sooner — all of us will recognize there is no alternative but to return to the table of negotiation, and part from the bloody battlefields that do not produce solutions."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Politics
  • Political Geography: Israel, Arabia
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 21, the grand mufti of Saudi Arabia, Shaykh Abd al-Aziz bin Abdallah Aal al-Shaykh, said that Islam forbids suicide terrorist attacks. This has raised a storm of criticism from supporters of the Palestinian intifada against Israel. However, the mufti may have been thinking more about Osama bin Ladin than recent Palestinian actions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Islam, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries, Saudi Arabia
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: On April 30, the Department of State issued its comprehensive annual report Patterns of Global Terrorism, describing incidents and trends in international terrorism in the year 2000. This year's report covers the first three months of accelerated Palestinian-Israeli violence. It is also marks the first time the Bush administration State Department has been compelled to publicly comment on the nature of Lebanese Hizballah attacks against Israel in the post-withdrawal era.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Politics, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Limor Livnat
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: " . . . The political road that brought us to the crossroads we are now at was one replete with navigational errors, steering miscalculations, and poor vision, traveled by fatigue-driven guides driving under the influence of reckless idealism and senseless naïveté . . . On February 6 of this year, the people of Israel made it eminently clear that they know it, and have left the road that led from Oslo to chaos and bloodshed in their homes and on their streets. The best of Israel's political pundits could not have imagined that Ariel Sharon would ever be elected prime minister of Israel, let alone with a plurality unprecedented in democratic nations. But they did not understand the people of Israel, and probably still don't. It was the most potent statement imaginable in favor of a new road and a more promising future."
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Arab Countries
  • Author: Reuven Paz
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The last two days have witnessed "The International Conference on the Palestinian Intifada" in Tehran. The conference was a major step in Iran's drive to accelerate terrorist attacks on Israel. Delegates to the conference came from thirty-four countries, including Syrian vice president Muhammad Zahir Mosahareqa, Lebanese National Assembly Speaker Nabih Berri, and representatives from many parliaments (e.g., Irish Senator Mick Lanigan). Palestinian participants included Palestinian Authority (PA) minister in charge of Jerusalem affairs Faisal Husseini and Palestinian National Council head Salim Za'noun (Abu Adib), one of the founding generation of Fatah and for many years the main link between Yasir Arafat and Islamic fundamentalist circles.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Iran, Middle East, Israel, Tehran, Palestine, Arab Countries, Syria
  • Author: Khalil Shikaki
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Among the Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza Strip, there are three perspectives as to why violent confrontations began in September: The Camp David II negotiations uncovered underlying differences in Israeli and Palestinian interests that are simply unbridgeable. Recent confrontations are basically the product of these differences. In this scenario, no return to negotiations is going to improve the situation. The current situation reflects domestic political constraints in both societies. Weak leaders, populations that are not prepared for the compromises needed for a final settlement, coalition politics, and questions of legitimacy are working against a solution. In this scenario, a permanent settlement is possible but certainly not easy. The two negotiating teams could have wrapped up the talks if they had had more time; indeed, they came very close to a compromise at Taba in January. According to this scenario, a matter of procedural difficulty — a miscalculation, misperception, or simply a lack of time — probably impeded the finalization of an agreement at Taba, while violence was still flaring in the territories. Most Palestinians are of the second school of thought. They did not believe that a deal was imminent at Camp David II or at Taba. Indeed, the belief that a comprehensive deal is imminent has eroded over time. Yet most Palestinians continue to hope that strong leaders in Israel and among the Palestinians can make essential compromises. Recently, a prominent perception among the Palestinian public was that Israel's weak government initiated the violence after Camp David II because Israel wanted the Palestinians to accept something that they had rejected. This perception, plus the heavy causalities and the collective punishment sustained over the past few months, has helped to radicalize Palestinian society.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Gaza, Arab Countries
  • Author: Gilead Sher
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Palestinian Authority (PA) chairman Yasir Arafat is responsible for the collapse of the peace process and for the extreme violence of the last seven months. In the year and a half of negotiations with the Palestinians under the leadership of former Israeli prime minister Ehud Barak, the objective was a permanent peace settlement: Israel would withdraw from a large part of the occupied territories, and, in return, there would be an official end to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. The intention was to fashion an alternative to occupation, since this situation was not only untenable, but was also a strategic burden to Israel. Arafat, however, would only accept an agreement in which all of his demands were met; failing this, he would and did resort to imposing an arrangement through violent confrontation. Consequently, the peace process collapsed. Arafat was never ready — mentally, personally, or historically, at Camp David or afterwards — to conclude a deal; he is a leader of a national movement and not a statesman.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Arab Countries
  • Author: Dennis Ross, Jacqueline Kaufman
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Over the past twelve years a revolution has taken place in the landscape of peacemaking in the Middle East. Twelve years ago, direct negotiations were non-existent and there was no peace process. While negotiations themselves do not ensure an agreement, their total absence ensures that there can be no resolution. The United States has borne the burden of trying to create dialogue.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Peace Studies
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Egypt
  • Author: David Schenker
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The U.S. Department of State will shortly issue its semi-annual Palestine Liberation Organization Commitments Compliance Act (PLOCCA) report. This report, now several weeks overdue, details PLO and Palestinian Authority (PA) compliance with their "peace process" commitments. And in April, the State Department will release its annual report about global terrorism. The release of these reports comes just weeks after Israeli chief of staff Shaul Mofaz described the PA as a "terrorist entity." The content of these reports will be the subject of close scrutiny. How the United States characterizes the PA with regard to terrorist activities is an important signal — both of how the Bush administration will contribute to the lowering of violence as the first step to the resumption of Israeli–Palestinian negotiations, and of what the direction of U.S.–Palestinian relations will be during the George W. Bush/Ariel Sharon era.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Terrorism
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While the main purpose of Secretary of State Colin Powell's first foray into the Middle East was to discuss Iraq, he also visited Israel and the Palestinian Authority and injected a dose of what some would call "evenhandedness" — giving each both something to be pleased about and something to be unnerved about.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy
  • Political Geography: United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: The Israeli people spoke in the most dramatic and convincing fashion. Viewed in the U.S. context, Ariel Sharon won a larger share of the vote — 62.5 percent — than any presidential candidate in history. Essentially, Israel voted to express one word: "enough!" — enough violence, enough concessions, enough perception of weakness. They were particularly voting against Barak, both personally and against the policies that characterized his government (dating not only to Camp David but as far back as the earliest days of his cabinet). Certainly, much of yesterday's vote was against Barak more than it was a vote for Sharon; just as Barak's 1999 landslide was less a vote for him than it was a vote against Bibi Netanyahu; just as Netanyahu's 1996 squeaker was less a vote for him than it was a vote against Shimon Peres. Now it's Sharon's turn.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Government, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel
  • Author: Dore Gold
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: February marks ten years since the end of the Gulf War. The situation in the Middle East today is vastly more dangerous than in 1991. The favorable regional conditions in 1991 that allowed the current peace process to begin have been reversed. Three key trends are the following: After Iraq's defeat in the Gulf War, it was placed under UN monitoring and extensive sanctions, thereby removing a major threat from Israel's calculus. Today, the situation is drastically different, with the absence of UN inspections for more than two years and the deterioration of sanctions against Iraq. In 1991, Iran was still recovering from its exhaustive war with Iraq and could not fully participate in regional, specifically Arab–Israeli, affairs. By contrast, Iran is currently testing intermediate-range missiles and is expressing its strategic weight in places like Lebanon, where it has increased its support to Hizballah. In 1991, the USSR was crumbling before its eventual collapse and was no longer in a position to offer strategic and military support to the enemies of Israel, while its successor — the Russian Federation — has more or less acquiesced to U.S. positions on the Middle East. Since 1996, however, Russia has taken a contrary approach to many U.S. policies and leadership in the region, in particular with regard to Iraqi sanctions and weapons inspections and the transfer of missile technology to Iran.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, International Relations, Foreign Policy, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Russia, United States, Iraq, Middle East, Israel, Arabia, Lebanon
  • Author: David Makovsky
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: Meetings this week between Israeli and Palestinian security and political personnel notwithstanding, time has virtually run out for any Israeli–Palestinian peace deal. It is important to note that the issue is not just one of time, even though President Clinton leaves office next Saturday. Top Clinton Administration officials have made clear that the Palestinians have engaged in "delays" since the December 23 ideas were tabled. Seeking to avoid the international disapproval that mushroomed in the wake of last summer's failed Camp David summit, Yasir Arafat came to Washington with an apparent "yes, but" view of the proposals. However, this approach seems clearly to be little more than a public-relations tactic.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Migration, Sovereignty
  • Political Geography: United States, Washington, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: While the White House has made no comment on the substance of President Bill Clinton's proposal for Israeli-Palestinian peace, the Israeli newspaper Haaretz and the Palestinian Jerusalem Media and Communication Center (JMCC) have published what they say are respectively the Israeli and Palestinian minutes of the president's December 23 oral presentation. What is striking is that the two accounts agree on every substantive point. These accounts provide a sound basis for knowing what in fact Clinton proposed.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine, Jerusalem
  • Author: Robert Satloff
  • Publication Date: 01-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: The Washington Institute for Near East Policy
  • Abstract: With President Clinton due to meet Palestinian leader Yasir Arafat today for a last-ditch diplomatic effort, attention is focused mainly on two aspects of the U.S. bridging proposals: the division of Jerusalem and the future status of Palestinian refugees. In contrast, little attention has so far been devoted to the security aspects of the U.S. proposals. While less emotive, security issues need to be central to U.S. concerns about the viability of any "final status" accord and its impact on U.S. interests and allies. It is difficult, however, to assess this aspect of the proposals because so many key security issues were evidently not raised by the President in his pre-Christmas oral presentation to the two sides. They may have been the subject of previous or subsequent discussions among the parties, but they were not on the President's core agenda.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Palestine
  • Author: Mandavi Mehta, Teresita C. Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: The South Asia program has recently concluded a year-long study entitled “Rising India and U.S. Policy Options in Asia” with a final conference that was held on October 15, 2001. The “Rising India” project seeks to analyze aspects of the U.S.-Indian relationship, examine the effectiveness of U.S. diplomatic tools in the context of different growth trends in India, and put U.S. policy toward India within a broader Asian context. This summary reflects the project study, amplified by presentations made at the conference.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: United States, China, South Asia, Asia
  • Author: Teresita C. Schaffer
  • Publication Date: 11-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: Begum Khaleda Zia scored a dramatic victory in the October 1 elections in Bangladesh, winning a historic two-thirds majority in parliament and continuing Bangladesh's 10-year pattern of changing the party in power with each election. Other countries and the business community will welcome early hints at a more flexible policy on natural gas, but not statements about renegotiating a water agreement with India. Outside observers will be watching most closely, however, for signs of Zia's approach to governance. The Awami League has reacted bitterly to its defeat, and dysfunctional relations between the government and the opposition are likely to continue.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Bangladesh, South Asia
  • Author: Mandavi Mehta
  • Publication Date: 07-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Center for Strategic and International Studies
  • Abstract: India's northeastern corner and the neighboring countries embody some of the major demographic and environmental time bombs in the subcontinent. Instability in this region, which both India and China regard as strategically important, could provoke a disruptive Indian response or a serious deterioration in India-China relations, with a significant impact on the broader politics of the region. The last month brought two reminders of how volatile this area is: the murder of the King of Nepal and most of his family, and the violent protests in Manipur following India's extension of its ceasefire with the primary Naga insurgent group. This paper provides a thumbnail sketch of the players and the places involved in India's “northeast problems.”
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Economics, Politics
  • Political Geography: Pakistan, China, South Asia, India, Nepal
  • Author: Arun R. Swamy
  • Publication Date: 10-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: East-West Center
  • Abstract: The intensification of a long-standing dispute between India and Pakistan over the state of Kashmir has become the cause of international concern. The stakes for these nuclear-armed rivals are high. Each views Kashmir as the validation of its national ideology; each fears that giving it up will result in serious domestic turmoil. Moreover, each country has plausible legal arguments for its claims along with a long history of grievances. The deep differences over Kashmir that divide the two countries have so far proven intractable, and following September 11 the movement toward confrontation accelerated. There has never been a more urgent need for international attention to Kashmir. While diplomatic engagement seems necessary for a resolution of this dispute, past results indicate that simply pressuring the two sides to talk may be disastrous. In order to avoid such results, any effort to intervene in this dispute must be undertaken with an awareness of how it evolved, why it has been so difficult to resolve, and what kinds of solutions to it might realistically be pursued.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security
  • Political Geography: South Asia, Asia, Kashmir
  • Author: Robert D. Greenberg
  • Publication Date: 04-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: In the first months after the NATO-led Kosovo Force (KFOR) entered Kosovo in June 1999 and the Kosovar Albanian refugees returned to their homes, the minority Serbs and Gypsies became the victims of Albanian revenge attacks. The few Serbs who have remained in Kosovo live in scattered enclaves under the protection of KFOR troops. Nevertheless, sporadic violence has continued to erupt, including the bus bombing in February 2001 killing Serbs heading to a religious event. KFOR has been unable to stop the violence from spilling over Kosovo's borders to Macedonia and to Serbia's Presevo Valley region, which has a sizable ethnic Albanian minority. Meanwhile, Macedonia has closed its border with Kosovo, raising the likelihood of a serious economic crisis in Kosovo that could induce further instability there.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, Ethnic Conflict
  • Political Geography: United States, Eastern Europe, Kosovo, Balkans, Albania
  • Author: Stephen Zunes
  • Publication Date: 02-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Foreign Policy In Focus
  • Abstract: There is a widespread assumption that resolution of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians is extremely complex and that the U.S. has been and still is the best hope for peace. The reality, however, is just the opposite.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Foreign Policy, International Law, Peace Studies, United Nations
  • Political Geography: United States, Middle East, Israel, Palestine
  • Author: Dennis J.D. Sandole, Sandra I. Cheldelin, Sara Cobb, Ho-Won Jeong, Christopher Mitchell, Richard Rubenstein, Abdusabur Abdusamadov, Giselle Huamani Ober, John W. Holman, Catalina Rojas, Ellen Kabcenell Wayne, Louis Kriesberg
  • Publication Date: 12-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Institute for Conflict Analysis and Resolution at George Mason University
  • Abstract: On Aug. 15, 2001, ICAR welcomed our new director, Sara Cobb, by sending her to represent our institute at a threeday combined retreat of the President's Council (comprising the president and senior staff members, deans, and directors) and George Mason's Board of Directors. Within days we learned that her energy and enthusiasm for ICAR's agenda was contagious and welcome. With academic year 2001–2002 beginning the following week, she has hardly had time to catch her breath.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Security, Human Rights, Peace Studies
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 05-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: UN High Commissioner for Refugees Ruud Lubbers yesterday began a visit to western Afghanistan to assess the country's deepening humanitarian crisis. Extreme drought and an intensification of the country's chronic war following a winter lull in fighting are likely to exacerbate famine and displacement of population. However, despite the emergence of a disaster which the international community will find difficult to ignore, UN sanctions against the Taliban, which controls 90% of the country, have done nothing either to curtail the movement's depredations against the population under its control or dampen its enthusiasm for a spring offensive. Peace for Afghanistan remains unrealistic as it enters its ninth year of civil war. Indeed, in the short term the total collapse of the country's agricultural system is likely to produce an influx of new recruits for this cycle of violence. However, evidence of a growing fractiousness within the Taliban could result in an emergence of a more moderate faction amenable both to dialogue with the international community and an accommodation with opposition forces.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Migration, Politics, United Nations
  • Political Geography: Afghanistan, Asia
  • Author: Caspar Fithin
  • Publication Date: 03-2001
  • Content Type: Policy Brief
  • Institution: Oxford Analytica
  • Abstract: President Aburrahman Wahid yesterday visited Central Kalimantan, the scene of violent clashes between local Dayaks and Madurese settlers. The crisis has its origins in the ill-conceived transmigration policies of the Suharto era. Despite its localised and specific nature, there is a significant risk that it will embolden other outer-island communities to move more decisively against non-indigenous sections of local populations. This would place further strains on the thinly-stretched security forces. With Wahid's authority already weakened, the crisis in Central Kalimantan will strengthen the position of hard-line elements in the military who are opposed to the president. Nonetheless, Megawati's ability to gain political capital will be limited by the fact that she herself has a leading role in formulating policy towards the regions.
  • Topic: Conflict Resolution, Ethnic Conflict, Government, Migration, Politics
  • Political Geography: Indonesia, Southeast Asia